New business blooms in old school

MIDDLEBURY — After more than two decades of working for various florists in Addison County, Carolee Ploof has arrived at a point in her life where she is able to take the reins of her own business.
Ploof, a Salisbury resident, officially opened “Middlebury Floral & Gifts” on Monday in what many locals recognize as the Little Red Schoolhouse at 1663 Route 7 South.
The new store offers fresh flowers, floral arrangements and live plants available for delivery within Addison County and beyond, thanks to its affiliation with FTD wire service.
In addition, Ploof will sell a wide selection of gifts including, Middlebury T-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants; greeting cards; balloons; handmade soaps; and many Vermont-made products such as jams, honey, chocolates and maple syrup.
“My family and friends have been encouraging me to open my own store for years, and I’m ready to take on that challenge,” said Ploof. “My staff and I are looking forward to providing convenient, friendly and professional service to the area’s residents.”
Ploof gained an extensive knowledge of the florist trade as a worker at such local businesses as Campus Flowers and Blossom Basket. She has long wanted to strike out on her own, and feels she is now able to do so with her three children in their teens and well established in school.
“In November I told myself, ‘I’m really going to do it,’” Ploof said. “I didn’t want to be regretting the fact that I never did it.”
Ploof is pleased with the location and is optimistic about the store’s future. Store hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and by appointment (388-2800). The store Website is at www.middleburyfloralandgifts.com.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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